Schools chief already wants to extend Prop. 30 taxes

Schools chief already wants to extend Prop. 30 taxes

Monopoly game school tax cardOnly one year into Proposition 30’s five-year life, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has already called for an extension of the 2012 ballot initiative.

Set to expire in 2018, it was sold to voters as a temporary tax.

“’We need to renew Prop. 30,’ Torlakson, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, said Wednesday night at a coffee meeting with local PTA leaders in a Sacramento home,” the Sacramento Bee reported online.

Two days later, the Bee did a newspaper story  (and put it online) about that same meeting with Torlakson in a private home. But those pieces said the meeting was to talk to parents and teachers about the new Common Core state education standards. There was no mention of Torlakson’s call to extend Prop. 30 in the newspaper version of the story, yet both stories were written by Bee reporter Diana Lambert.

Perhaps Torlakson had an early copy of the Legislative Analyst’s Office 2014-15 fiscal review.

“As Proposition 30 Personal Income Tax increases phase out, much slower revenue growth forecasted,” the LAO headline said.

“Under Proposition 30, the increase in Personal Income Tax rates for high–income taxpayers generates a much greater proportion of revenue than the sales tax increase,” the LAO report found.

Under a hypothetical recession, the LAO explained, “the revenue losses would be offset somewhat by lower Proposition 98 minimum requirements, and we assume that the state would reduce spending to the lower allowed spending levels.”

The LAO warned against overcommitting, which could bring back budget shortfalls.

General fund spending

The California Personal Income Tax is two–thirds of the annual general fund revenues.

“We note, however, that the proportion of the general fund supported by PIT revenues likely would be growing even if Proposition 30 were not in effect due to more income concentration among the highest–income taxpayers and the other factors described earlier,” the LAO said.

Remember when Gov. Jerry Brown was campaigning to pass Prop. 30? “The taxes that I’m proposing on sales and higher income people goes to the schools — 100 percent of it,” the Los Angeles Times reported Brown saying. “But it goes in a way that integrates it with the budget itself.”

(Note: The L.A. Times stories with this quote are no longer available; the story linked is in the Press Democrat, but is a column by L.A. Times columnist George Skelton.)

However, what Brown wasn’t saying is that when state revenue increases, so does school funding, automatically. Proposition 98, passed in 1988 by the voters, guarantees K-12 public schools and community colleges about 40 percent of the general fund. So when general fund revenues go up, so does school spending. Conversely, when general fund revenues are reduced, school spending is also reduced.

“The first 18 months of the tax hike would raise $9 billion, according to the state Finance Department. Schools would be entitled to $3.8 billion, or 42 percent. The remaining $5.2 billion, or 58 percent, would be earmarked for budget balancing,” Skelton wrote.

So schools would not be receiving the bulk of the tax increase revenues. Is it any wonder Torlakson want to prolong the tax hike — other than a promise made to voters?


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  1. eck
    eck 13 January, 2014, 19:55

    Torlakson, a complete embodiment of the left, especially in this rotten State. I’m sure that in his mind, there is no amount of $ that is sufficient for the schools (read teacher’s unions).

    Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 January, 2014, 20:39

    Eck……the poor kids….innocents….please!

    Reply this comment
  3. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 13 January, 2014, 23:04

    Why is this suprising? Once these parasites stick their hands into your pockets they never remove them voluntarily when time runs out. It’s their unspoken intention from the onset whenever a temporary tax is approved….to make it permanent. That’s the anatomy of a parasite. Don’t ever expect them to change. It’s not in their nature. They feel entitled to keep feeding off you.

    Reply this comment
  4. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 14 January, 2014, 10:00

    Get real. Any executive will seek income maximization. Don’t fault educators. They work in war zones keeping a lid on a boiling cauldron of social/economic/cultural friction and malaise.

    Doomers don’t have the guts or brains or stamina to be educators……stop their criticism.

    Reply this comment
  5. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 14 January, 2014, 10:15

    Further proof, as if we needed any, that California voters are dumber than a bag of Ramen noodles. Anyone with a few active neurons could see that the “temporary” nature of this tax increase is a joke. The campaign for the Prop. 30 tax extension will be based on the tried and true slogan “It’s for the children”. Works every time.

    California’s government education system is a perpetual motion funding scam. First, it creates millions of gullible, ignorant, complacent fools with no critical thinking skills and devoid of even basic facts. Then it tricks the poor saps with scare mongering and disinformation to support further tax increases/revenue streams so that it can create millions more nitwit voters to provide more funding to produce more brainwashed, low information voters. Round and round and round we go, circling the drain.

    Reply this comment
    • LetitCollapse
      LetitCollapse 14 January, 2014, 19:08

      The entire society is run based on a constant barrage of propoganda.

      Critical thinking in America is on life support.

      Those poor kids in public schools have no chance. Public schools are brainwashing institutions. At least in most private schools the kids are exposed to different points of view. More freedom exists. I thank God for my teachers who taught me the basics about critical thinking. We were always assigned reading material like “Animal Farm”, “Catch 22”, “The Gulag Archipelago”, “Lord of the Flies”, etc… followed by lengthy discussions. But critical thinking is a dying art for sure. Some college kids I talk with have no clue.

      This government decriminalized and deregulated big business – big business gets into financial trouble – then the government ran in for the stick save to rescue big business with massive bailouts – and then the government owns the loyalty of the businesses. Why do you think these big telecommunication companies are voluntarily turning over your phone and email data to the gov without your knowledge??? lol. Because their owned. That’s why. lol.

      Reply this comment

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